Needs Assessment of Nutrition Education for Older Adults

  • Kim, Kyungwon (Division of Food & Nutrition, College of Natural Science, Seoul Women’s University) ;
  • Yun Ahn (Division of Food & Nutrition, College of Natural Science, Seoul Women’s University) ;
  • Hyunjoo Kang (Division of Food & Nutrition, College of Natural Science, Seoul Women’s University) ;
  • Kim, Kyung-A (Division of Food & Nutrition, College of Natural Science, Seoul Women’s University) ;
  • Eunmi Shin (Division of Food & Nutrition, College of Natural Science, Seoul Women’s University) ;
  • Kim, Hee-Seon (Department of Foods and Nutrition, Soonchunhyang University) ;
  • Song, Ok-Young (Department of Foods and Nutrition, Soonchunhyang University)
  • Published : 2001.11.01

Abstract

This study was designed to assess the needs for nutrition education and educational materials for older adults. Two cross-sectional surreys were conducted. The first survey, conducted by personal interviews, was part of the large-scale elderly nutrition study. Subjects were adults aged 50 and over, recruited from 6 large cities and 8 middle-sized cities(n = 1,850). The second survey, done by mail survey using open-ended questions, was conducted with dietitians working at public health centers or hospitals(n = 53). Adults aged 50 and over were interested in topics such as healthly eating(32.1%), hypertension/stroke and diet(22.1%), osteoporosis and diet(11.4%), and diabetes and diet(9.2%). Television and radio(58.2%), health professionals(12.2%) and friends(7.9%) were common sources of nutrition information. Preferred topics of nutrition education and sources of nutrition information were different by general characteristics of subjects, suggesting that nutrition education or educational materials be planned considering the characteristics of subjects. About 70% of subjects indicated that they sometimes use or do not use nutrition information in daily lives, suggesting the need to provide more practical information. Among 53 facilities responding to the second survey, 73.6% provided nutrition education for older adults. Common topics for nutrition education included diabetes(39.3%), hypertension and stroke(19.1%) and general nutritional management(11.2%). These were consistent to the topics preferred by older adults. As materials In elderly education, dietitians wanted primarily to use leaflets and slides. Boards, booklets and posters were other commonly cited materials. For contents of elderly educational materials, dietitians mentioned the nutritional management for age-related diseases(33.8%), general nutritional management for older adults(25.4%) and practically applicable information(19.7%). They also suggested that nutrition education materials for the elderly should use larger print and attractive pictures, and be easily understood, as well as presenting simple, specific and practical information. These results provide baseline information for developing nutrition education and educational materials for older adults.